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  • Abstracts

To develop the following abstracts, the editorial staff searches more than 100 scientific journals, professional and organizational newsletters, conference proceedings, and other resources for information relevant to ecological restoration practice and research. Please send suggested abstract sources to the editorial staff (

Coastal & Marine Communities

Effects of Surrounding Land Use and Water Depth on Seagrass Dynamics Relative to a Catastrophic Algal Bloom. 2017. Breininger, D.R. (NASA Ecological Program, Florida,, R.D. Breinin and C.R. Hall. Conservation Biology 31:65–75. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12791

Seagrasses provide many ecosystem services, including nursery habitat, sedimentation collection, and storm surge protection. Their health and persistence are influenced by numerous external factors, making them vulnerable to degradation and loss, therefore a tool to estimate seagrass persistence could help guide restoration and conservation work. This study used multistate models in Program MARK to predict annual transitions between presence and absence of seagrass beds in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) Florida. Using GIS and aerial photographs, Breininger and colleagues quantified annual seagrass transition probabilities at 764 locations using surrounding land use (total conservation, partial conservation, mostly urban, and urban), water depth, and year as explanatory variables for presence- absence. Data analyzed from 2003 to 2014 included the 2011 algal bloom that lead to catastrophic seagrass loss in the IRL. After testing 25 competing models, results were not surprising for land-use relationships: transition probability from no seagrass to seagrass was lowest in urban areas and highest at conservation sites, while probabilities for seagrass to no seagrass were highest in urban and lowest in conservation sites. Water depth predicted transition states at intermediate depths(1.25 to 1.5 m) but was weak for more shallow or deep zones. Predictions of seagrass presences after the algal bloom showed that total conservation areas were resilient to the 2011 bloom (no loss experienced) while total urban sites lost 84% and remained low for two years following. The authors conclude that restoration and preservation of natural habitats allowed seagrass beds near conservation sites to act as refugia during mass disturbance. Their models are an additional tool to focus research, action and preservation at the marine-land interface.

Relative Importance of Sexual and Asexual Reproduction for Range Expansion of Spartina alterniflora in Different Tidal Zones on Chinese Coast. 2017. Liu H. (College of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, China,, Z. Lin, M. Zhang and X. Qi. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 185:22–30.

Success of invasive species can be directly related to their life history strategies. The relative importance of sexual and asexual reproduction in plants such as Spartina (cordgrass) can vary depending on environmental conditions and or habitat type. In this study, Liu and colleagues use individual-based models (IBM) and global sensitivity analyses to determine the role of sexual reproduction and the importance of adult survival in the expansion of S. alterniflora (saltmarsh cordgrass), an invasive plant along the Chinese coast, across the intertidal zone in the Yangtze River, China. Using remote sensing data, the authors parametrized a spatially explicit IBM where each cell corresponded to a one-year time step and included population dynamics parameters such as dispersal, germination rate, and both sexual and asexual reproduction rates in different intertidal zones. Their results show that the expansion process is determined by different strategies across intertidal zones. In the middle and high intertidal zones, range expansion is accelerated by sexual reproduction while in the lower zones, asexual reproduction seems to be the best strategy to promote expansion. Seed dispersal and adult survival rate were the most important parameters in the model, although their relevance differed with habitat type and with invasion stage; adult survival rate and asexual reproduction are more important during early invasion stages. Altogether, these results can be very useful for restoration efforts of tidal marshes, especially in the east coast of the United States, where native Spartina populations are threatened due to sea level rise. [End Page 190]

Biodiversity of Shallow Subtidal, Under-Rock Invertebrates in Europe's First Marine Reserve: Effects of Physical Factors and Scientific Sampling. 2017...


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